2008 was a year of dramatic highs and lows. We witnessed great success for Team GB at the Olympic and Para-Olympics Games in Beijing but our economy took a very dramatic downturn and we enter 2009 facing a very deep recession and the prospect of a rapid increase in unemployment.
The problems we face are of course of our own and our Labour governments making. Individuals reliance on credit is borne partly out of our own greed but more significantly as a result of government policy. For years government statistics have pointed to our combined individual and state national debt rocketing to unsafe levels and yet government continued to encourage institutions and banks to lend lend lend. That the state now proposes to borrow massive sums to try and get us out of a recession caused by debt is truly staggering.
Here in East Renfrewshire we face a year in which our Labour led Council propose to invest massive sums of Council Tax money into pet political projects for which no real case can be made. Facing the loss of more than £1million in a high risk investment with a failed Icelandic Bank they now propose to spend more than £12.5million building a college in Barrhead despite their own figures showing the number of people attending adult eduction in Barrhead falling by more than 40% in recent years.
For me the answer to both local and national problems lies in political leadership. For years we have had local politicians who are seen at everything but ask yourself one simple question: what have they actually done for you or your family to make life better in East Renfrewshire? We need political leadership that will deliver spending on better roads and pavements, more police on local streets and a cleaner environment. These are the priorities of the people of East Renfrewshire and they are my priorities too!
East Renfrewshire, Scotland and the UK all need one thing to make them better - a General Election that delivers a new government. My mother always tells me the best things come to those who wait, but for me our country can't wait any longer for a new government and I hope 2009 brings us all the General Election we so richly deserve.